The tiny rural town of Acton, just North of Granbury, offers day of fun and exploration. The Acton Nature Center has 5 miles of scenic trails, including off-road bike trails, and nearby Acton State Historical Site at the Acton Cemetery is the place of rest of Davy Crockett’s 2nd wife, Elizabeth. It’s a perfect little day trip, or spend the weekend at De Cordova Bend Park, with FREE primitive camping, a fishing pier and boat ramp to Lake Granbury.
Check out my pictures from some of our visits over the years, and plan your own!
1. Know Before You Go
The Acton Nature Park is set on 80 acres, with over 5 miles of trails for hiking, mountain bikes and equestrian uses. It is open 7 days a week, from dawn until dusk, and is FREE to all, however donations are appreciated.
Pack in plenty of water
The are 3 main trails at the center, the Travis Hiking Trail, the Bowie Bike (and equestrian) Trail and the Crockett Butterfly Garden.
Visit the Acton Nature Center Website to print out a trail map from home. The trails are marked with trail numbers and a couple of map kiosk. Click HERE for a copy of the map.
The only ADA Wheelchair accessible trail, the Crockett Butterfly Trail is on a gravel path.
The Crockett Butterfly Trail leads to the Crockett Butterfly Garden, which features numerous native Texas butterfly friendly plants, most of which are labeled. The garden also has a functioning windmill, restrooms and a restored farmhouse which serves as offices.
There is an actual restroom at the Crockett Butterfly Garden, but they don’t offer a changing table.
It’s always a good idea to at least take a picture of the map for reference while you’re out on the trail!
One of the perks of these trails is that they are not crazy busy. The trail offers some shade from the summer sun, and we enjoyed finding the Sam Houston Bridge and exploring the several lean-tos that have been built along the trail. We loved seeing the hand drawn trail maps, penned by children from 8-13 years old.
The Acton Nature Center sponsors several annual events, including a First Saturday Bird Walk, which is FREE and open to anyone. No registration required.
Each April, they host the Action Nature Fun Run.
ANC’s Butterfly Garden provides a stopping place for many Monarch Butterflies as they make their annual migration from Canada to Central Mexico.
Away from the DFW Metroplex, the dark skies of Acton provide a good venue for a Rio Brazos Star Party.
Click HERE to be directed to the Acton Nature Center’s website for more information. As always, please check their site before visiting for any updates.
Acton State Historical Site
Just down the road from the Acton Nature Center is the Acton State Historical Site at the Acton Cemetery. At only .006 of an acre, it is the smallest historical site in Texas.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never found cemeteries to be frightening, but rather very peaceful.
Buried in the Acton Cemetery is Elizabeth Crockett, 2nd wife of famed Davy Crockett, who was killed defending the Alamo in 1836. Crockett had come to Texas alone to fight in the Texas Revolution, and Elizabeth was awarded his land grant years later. In the 1850’s, Elizabeth and one of Crockett’s grown sons came to Texas from Tennessee, and built 2 cabins near Rucker’s Creek off the Brazos River. (A marker commemorates the site, but I wasn’t able to find it.)
Sitting just outside the Acton Cemetery is the Acton Masonic Lodge, built in 1868. It wasn’t open, but we enjoyed it’s peaceful setting.
De Cordova Bend Park From FM 4, turn right on 167 to visit De Cordova Bend Park, which offers a boat ramp, fishing pier and primitive campsites. Access to De Cordova Bend Park is FREE. It is one of 4 parks on Lake Granbury that offer camping, operated by the Brazos River Authority.
Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun!
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